Bamforth family of Holmfirth, Yorks

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In 1870 the Methodist James Bamforth set up a business producing magic lantern slides, including landscape views and the words of hymns. They were among the first in England to produce cinema films, beginning in 1899, and these were distributed worldwide until 1914, when the First World War ended that enterprise. By then they had also begun to produce postcards, which during the war included special patriotic cards designed for young women to send to their menfolk at the Front. But their most famous product was the comic postcard which became a feature of seaside holidays between the wars. These, they claimed, drew a line between vulgarity and obscenity at a time when popular taste was less sophisticated - or more inhibited - than later in the century. The family business closed in 1989, but the factory remains. A Postcard Museum has been created, housed in the former Picturedrome Cinema, Holmfirth, and some of the postcards are still in print.

  • Flame, January/February 2003


Entry written by: TLN
Category: Person
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